Lima, Perú, 1942
Isabel Allende began her career as a journalist in Chile and Venezuela, also collaborating on television programmes and documentaries and writing some works for theatre. Her first novel La casa de los espíritus, published in 1982, is a seminal work in Latin American literature. It was followed by many other publications that brought the author huge international success. Her books have sold millions of copies and been translated into more than 35 languages. She is considered to be the most widely read author in the Spanish language. In 2018 Isabel Allende became the first Spanish-language author to receive the lifetime achievement award for distinguished contribution to American Letters (National Book Awards).
- "Allende is a unique and staggering storyteller with an enviable talent for intricate narratives." The Boston Sunday Globe
- "Allende is one of the most important novelists to emerge from Latin America in the past decade." Boston Globe Magazine
- "Allende is a genius." Los Angeles Times Book Review
One Hundred Years in the Life of a Woman
It is 1920, the year when Spanish flu was wreaking havoc in South America, and Violeta del Valle is born into a prosperous upper-class Chilean family. And she will live long enough to witness another pandemic a century later. But let's begin at the beginning.Read more
Why is Isabel Allende a feminist? With an irresistible mix of humour, lucidity and wisdom, this essay bears witness to a whole life dedicated to fighting for a fairer, more equal world.Read more
Short stories and novellas
Books for children and young readers
Anthology / Selection
One Hundred Years in the Life of a Woman
It is 1920, the year when Spanish flu was wreaking havoc in South America, and Violeta del Valle is born into a prosperous upper-class Chilean family. And she will live long enough to witness another pandemic a century later. But let's begin at the beginning.
Violeta will receive a different education thanks to the efforts of Josephine Taylor, an English governess involved in a secret, clandestine relationship with another woman. With the providential help of these two women, the Del Valle family will have the opportunity to find shelter outside the capital when the Great Depression ruins their father's business. Thus, in an unknown part of the country, in the middle of the countryside and nature, Violeta will discover love and her first dreams of youth. Later will come the failed marriages, the burning and destructive passions, motherhood, and the suffering caused by the death of those she loves the most.
Her personal troubles and also the turmoil that will shake the country in the following decades force Violeta into an untiring struggle to start again and again from scratch and meet her commitment to make this world a friendlier and juster place for those most in need.
[Allende's] breakneck recital of events . . . has pace and verve, captured in Frances Riddle's enjoyably fast-flowing translation.” Financial Times
“An epic tale that transports readers across a century of South American history.” Independent.co.uk
“Isabel Allende has created an epic that is both fiercely inspiring and deeply emotional.” Sheerluxe
“Allende is, of course, a literary titan... [Allende] is terrific on old age, and shows how adventure doesn't have to stop once you start stooping.” i paper
“With her customary vibrant and compelling prose, Allende’s Violeta is a moving exploration of both the pain and the freedom of being an outsider.” New Statesman
“Violeta is full of life, a great sweeping story.” Scotsman
“Violeta establishes with poignancy and precision the events that have shaped the past century in South America. A candid narrative that effortlessly captures authentic human emotion, the reader is shown how individual experience is always and everywhere inseparable from the contextual fabric of the wider world. An embodiment of wisdom, peppered with wit and humility, Violeta is a woman from whom I was reluctant to part.” Yorkshire Times
A masterful work of historical fiction that soars from the Spanish Civil War to the rise and fall of Pinochet, A Long Petal of the Sea is Isabel Allende at the height of her powers.
In the late 1930s, civil war grips Spain. When General Franco and his Fascists succeed in overthrowing the government, hundreds of thousands are forced to flee in a treacherous journey over the mountains to the French border. Among them is Roser, a pregnant young widow, who finds her life intertwined with that of Victor Dalmau, an army doctor and the brother of her deceased love. In order to survive, the two must unite in a marriage neither of them desires.
Together with two thousand other refugees, they embark on the SS Winnipeg, a ship chartered by the poet Pablo Neruda, to Chile: "the long petal of sea and wine and snow"; As unlikely partners, they embrace exile as the rest of Europe erupts in world war. Starting over on a new continent, their trials are just beginning, and over the course of their lives, they will face trial after trial. But they will also find joy as they patiently await the day when they will be exiles no more. Through it all, their hope of returning to Spain keeps them going. Destined to witness the battle between freedom and repression as it plays out across the world, Roser and Victor will find that home might have been closer than they thought all along.
"One of the strongest and most affecting works in Allende's long career." New York Times Book Review
"A defiantly warm and funny novel, by somebody who has earned the right to argue that love and optimism can survive whatever history might throw at us." Daily Telegraph
"An epic that starts in 1939 and spans decades and continents . . . A masterful work of historical fiction about hope, exile and belonging, and one that sheds light on the way we live now." Independent.co.uk
"Full of ambition and humanity." Sunday Times
"Allende knows that all stories are love stories, and the greatest love stories are told by time." Colum McCann
"Allende's style is impressively Olympian and the payoff is remarkable." Guardian
“Allende has everything it takes: the ear, the eye, the mind, the heart, the all-encompassing humanity” New York Times
“Isabel Allende is a grand storyteller who writes with surpassing compassion and insight. Her place as an icon of world literature was secured long ago. She will be celebrated, by readers and writers alike, for generations to come.” Khaled Hosseini
“A historical saga that sweeps from the Spanish Civil War to the rise and fall of General Pinochet.” Highlights for 2020, Daily Telegraph
“Although this is fiction, Allende's epic is deeply rooted in fact, and often reads like a biography – of her homeland not least . . . [The characters] are brought alive by Allende's generous imagination and brisk, vivid prose.” Daily Mail
In the Midst of Winter begins with a minor traffic accident—which becomes the catalyst for an unexpected and moving love story between two people who thought they were deep into the winter of their lives. Richard Bowmaster—a 60-year- old human rights scholar—hits the car of Evelyn Ortega—a young, undocumented immigrant from Guatemala—in the middle of a snowstorm in Brooklyn. What at first seems just a small inconvenience takes an unforeseen and far more serious turn when Evelyn turns up at the professor’s house seeking help. At a loss, the professor asks his tenant Lucía Maraz—a 62-year- old lecturer from Chile—for her advice. These three very different people are brought together in a mesmerizing story that moves from present-day Brooklyn to Guatemala in the recent past to 1970s Chile and Brazil, sparking the beginning of a long overdue love story between Richard and Lucia.
Exploring the timely issues of human rights and the plight of immigrants and refugees, the book recalls Allende’s landmark novel The House of the Spirits in the way it embraces the cause of “humanity, and it does so with passion, humor, and wisdom that transcend politics” (Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post).
In the Midst of Winter (Atria Books, USA) has been included on the November 2017 Indie Next List (USA) – “Great Reads from Booksellers You Trust”
"Isabel Allende brings her poetic and compassionate eye to In the Midst of Winter, a love story about a human rights scholar and an undocumented Guatemalan immigrant. The novel, which takes place in present-day Brooklyn and Guatemala as well as the 1970s Chile and Brazil, is being compared with her masterpiece The House of the Spirits." CBS' WATCH! Magazine
“This winter's tale has something to melt each frozen heart.” Kirkus Reviews
“Filled with Allende’s signature lyricism and ingenious plotting, this book delves wonderfully into what it means to respect, protect, and love.” Publishers Weekly
“Allende has a rare and precious gift for simultaneously challenging and entrancing readers by dramatizing with startling intimacy such dire situations as the desperation behind illegal immigration and domestic violence, then reveling, a page later, in spiritual visions or mischievous sexiness or heroic levity.” Booklist
“Readers who love Allende will find much to enjoy. This is a syntactically beautiful story with the twists and turns of a telenovela, and it has warmth at its center. It is a novel that touches some difficult topics: immigration, murder, spiritual belief, divorce and the death of children.” Minneapolis Star Tribune
“The novel delivers opportunities for the reader to ponder nuanced moral questions involving immigration policies and the administration of natural justice. Humans ignore these issues at their peril, Lucia cautions Richard: “But see how life refuses to leave us in peace? Sooner or later it catches up with us.” Allende reminds us that this can happen in any season of life.” Newsday
"Grief and loss are transformed into a healing friendship in this fantastic novel from Allende... Filled with Allende’s signature lyricism and ingenious plotting, the book delves wonderfully into what it means to respect, protect, and love." PW
“Allende's latest tale is heartfelt and raw... The interactions between the characters is well thought out and deep. Readers will come to love them and experience the heartbreak and joy both of their past, present and future.” RT Book Reviews
“Allende weaves a suspenseful love story, rendering this central trio with generosity, spirit, and passion.” National Book Review
From New York Times and internationally bestselling author Isabel Allende, an exquisitely crafted love story and multigenerational epic that sweeps from San Francisco in the present-day to Poland and the United States during the Second World War.
In 1939, as Poland falls under the shadow of the Nazis, young Alma Belasco’s parents send her away to live in safety with an aunt and uncle in their opulent mansion in San Francisco. There, as the rest of the world goes to war, she encounters Ichimei Fukuda, the quiet and gentle son of the family’s Japanese gardener. Unnoticed by those around them, a tender love affair begins to blossom. Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the two are cruelly pulled apart as Ichimei and his family—like thousands of other Japanese Americans—are declared enemies and forcibly relocated to internment camps run by the United States government. Throughout their lifetimes, Alma and Ichimei reunite again and again, but theirs is a love that they are forever forced to hide from the world.
Decades later, Alma is nearing the end of her long and eventful life. Irina Bazili, a care worker struggling to come to terms with her own troubled past, meets the elderly woman and her grandson, Seth, at San Francisco’s charmingly eccentric Lark House nursing home. As Irina and Seth forge a friendship, they become intrigued by a series of mysterious gifts and letters sent to Alma, eventually learning about Ichimei and this extraordinary secret passion that has endured for nearly seventy years.
Sweeping through time and spanning generations and continents, The Japanese Lover explores questions of identity, abandonment, redemption, and the unknowable impact of fate on our lives. Written with the same attention to historical detail and keen understanding of her characters that Isabel Allende has been known for since her landmark first novel The House of the Spirits, The Japanese Lover is a profoundly moving tribute to the constancy of the human heart in a world of unceasing change.
'Ripper' is an innocent Skype-based role-playing game that brings together five teenagers from different countries who join forces to solve puzzling criminal cases. The games-master is Amanda, a young San Francisco native who is very fond of crime fiction. Now a crime has been commited in her home town and it grips the Ripper players: the killing of a public school janitor. And this murder is just the first of many more.
Amanda’s parents disapprove of their daughter’s pastime. They have been divorced for some years and Amanda spends most of her time in the company of her grandfather, her close friend and ally. Her father is an inspector in the San Francisco Homicide Division while her mother works at an alternative medicine practice through which an array of colourful characters pass by, including some skeptical patients, secretly in love with the beguiling woman.
Only the Ripper players seem to have noticed that the succession of crimes in the city bears the trademark of a single killer. Ripper ceases to be a game and becomes a matter of life and death when Amanda realizes that the killer is closing in on her mother, the final victim of a perverse plot planned down to the last detail.
This contemporary coming-of-age story centers upon Maya Vidal, a remarkable teenager abandoned by her parents. Maya grew up in a rambling old house in Berkeley with her grandmother Nini, whose formidable strength helped her build a new life after emigrating from Chile in 1973 with a young son, and her grandfather Popo, a gentle African-American astronomer.
When Popo dies, Maya goes off the rails. Along with a circle of girlfriends known as "the vampires," she turns to drugs, alcohol, and petty crime--a downward spiral that eventually leads to Las Vegas and a dangerous underworld, with Maya caught between warring forces: a gang of assassins, the police, the FBI, and Interpol.
Her one chance for survival is Nini, who helps her escape to a remote island off the coast of Chile. In the care of her grandmother’s old friend, Manuel Arias, and surrounded by strange new acquaintances, Maya begins to record her story in her notebook, as she tries to make sense of her past and unravel the mysteries of her family and her own life.
Born on the island of Saint-Domingue, Zarité—known as Tété—is the daughter of an African mother she never knew and one of the white sailors who brought her into bondage. Though her childhood is one of brutality and fear, Tété finds solace in the traditional rhythms of African drums and the voodoo loa she discovers through her fellow slaves.
When twenty-year-old Toulouse Valmorain arrives on the island in 1770, it’s with powdered wigs in his trunks and dreams of financial success in his mind. But running his father’s plantation, Saint Lazare, is neither glamorous nor easy. Although Valmorain purchases young Tété for his bride, it is he who will become dependent on the services of his teenaged slave.
Against the merciless backdrop of sugarcane fields, the lives of Tété and Valmorain grow ever more intertwined. When the bloody revolution of Toussaint Louverture arrives at the gates of Saint Lazare, they flee the brutal conditions of the French colony, soon to become Haiti, for the raucous, free-wheeling enterprise of New Orleans. There, Tété finally forges a new life, but her connection to Valmorain is deeper than anyone knows and not easily severed. With an impressive richness of detail, and a narrative wit and brio second to none, Allende crafts the riveting story of one woman’s determination to find love amid loss, to offer humanity though her own has been so battered, and to forge a new identity in the cruelest of circumstances.
Born into a poor family in Spain, Inés, a seamstress, finds herself condemned to a life of hard work without reward or hope for the future. It is the sixteenth century, the beginning of the Spanish conquest of the Americas, and when her shiftless husband disappears to the New World, Inés uses the opportunity to search for him as an excuse to flee her stifling homeland and seek adventure. After her treacherous journey takes her to Peru, she learns that her husband has died in battle. Soon she begins a fiery love affair with a man who will change the course of her life: Pedro de Valdivia, war hero and field marshal to the famed Francisco Pizarro.
Valdivia's dream is to succeed where other Spaniards have failed: to become the conquerer of Chile. The natives of Chile are fearsome warriors, and the land is rumored to be barren of gold, but this suits Valdivia, who seeks only honor and glory. Together the lovers Inés Suárez and Pedro de Valdivia will build the new city of Santiago, and they will wage a bloody, ruthless war against the indigenous Chileans—the fierce local Indians led by the chief Michimalonko, and the even fiercer Mapuche from the south. The horrific struggle will change them forever, pulling each of them toward their separate destinies.
Inés of My Soul is a work of breathtaking scope: meticulously researched, it engagingly dramatizes the known events of Inés Suárez's life, crafting them into a novel full of the narrative brilliance and passion readers have come to expect from Isabel Allende.
A swashbuckling adventure story, Zorro reveals the history behind the legendary masked man.
Born in Southern California in the late eighteenth century, Diego de la Vega is a child of two worlds. His father is an aristocratic Spanish military man turned landowner, his mother a Shoshone warrior. From his father, Diego receives lessons in the art of fencing and in cattle branding; from his maternal grandmother, White Owl, he learns the ways of her tribe. As a child he also witnesses the brutal injustices dealt Native Americans by European settlers and begins to feel the inner conflict of his dual heritage.
At the age of sixteen, Diego is sent to Barcelona to be educated. Spain is chafing under the corruption of Napoleonic rule, and Diego, following the example of his celebrated fencing master, joins La Justicia, a secret underground resistance movement devoted to helping the powerless and the poor. With this tumultuous period as a backdrop, Diego falls in love, saves the persecuted, and confronts a great rival who emerges from the world of privilege. After many adventures—duels at dawn, fierce battles with pirates at sea, and daring rescues—Diego de la Vega, a.k.a. Zorro, returns to America to reclaim the hacienda where he was raised and to seek justice for all who cannot fight for it themselves.
Spanning the globe from California to Barcelona—the New World and the Old—Zorro celebrates the birth of a great hero and legend.
An historical novel set at the end of the nineteenth century in Chile, Portrait in Sepia is a family saga that continues the story begun in Allende’s highly acclaimed Daughter of Fortune. Recounted in the voice of a young woman in search of her roots, Portrait in Sepia is a novel about memory and family secrets.
Aurora del Valle suffers a brutal trauma that shapes her character and erases from her mind all recollection of the first five years of her life. Raised by her ambitious grandmother, the regal and commanding Paulina del Valle, Aurora grows up in a privileged environment, free of the limitations that circumscribe the lives of women at that time but tormented by horrible nightmares. When forced to recognize her betrayal at the hands of the man she loves—and to cope with the resulting solitude—she decides to explore the mystery of her past.
An orphan raised in Valparaiso, Chile, by a Victorian spinster and her rigidbrother, vivacious young Eliza Sommers follows her lover to California during the Gold Rush of 1849. Entering a rough-and-tumble world of new arrivals driven mad by gold fever, Eliza moves in a society of single men and prostitutes with the help of her good friend and savior, the Chinese doctor Tao Chi'en. California opens the door to a new life of freedom and independence for the young Chilean, and her search for her elusive lover gradually turns into another kind of journey. By the time she finally hears news of him, Eliza must decide who her true love really is.
A saga of one man's search for love and his struggle to come to terms with a childhood of poverty and neglect, The Infinite Plan is Isabel Allende’s first novel to be set in the United States and to portray American characters.
Gregory Reeves’ father is a self-styled preacher who wanders the American West with his family in a caravan during the 1940s, preaching “The Infinite Plan,” a divine vision of the meaning of life and the nature of the universe. But when the preacher falls ill, the family abandons its nomadic ways and settles in a Hispanic barrio of Los Angeles. Gregory begins a new life in a Spanish-speaking world: school (for the first time), gangs, sex, books and ideas, and work. As he explores the mysterious world of the barrio, he meets the people who will shape his future, among them Pedro and Inmaculada Morales, who become his surrogate parents and provide him with the love and security his own family cannot give him; Carmen Morales, their daughter and Gregory's friend for life, who grows up to be an earthy woman who teaches him about love as well as friendship; Juan José Morales, their son and Gregory's buddy, whose experience in Vietnam will change the course of his family's and Gregory's lives; and Cyrus, the old Communist intellectual who feeds Gregory books and inspires him with a passion for social justice.
As Gregory's story unfolds, we follow his struggle to survive—persecution by gangs in the barrio, the horrors of the war in Vietnam—and to be successful. After his return from Vietnam, Gregory becomes a lawyer in San Francisco, where he pursues money and possessions, looks for love with the wrong women, parties, abuses alcohol, neglects his children, and loses himself in an illusory and wrongheaded quest. Eventually, after many false turns, Gregory's search for love and for his soul brings him full circle back to his roots and to a new life.
Eva Luna is the daughter of a professor’s assistant and a snake-bitten gardener—born poor, orphaned at an early age, and working as a servant. Eva is a naturally gifted and imaginative storyteller who meets people from all stations and walks of life. Though she has no wealth, she trades her stories like currency with people who are kind to her. In this novel, she shares the story of her own life and introduces readers to a diverse and eccentric cast of characters including the Lebanese émigré who befriends her and takes her in; her unfortunate godmother, whose brain is addled by rum and who believes in all the Catholic saints and a few of her own invention; a street urchin who grows into a petty criminal and, later, a leader in the guerrilla struggle; a celebrated transsexual entertainer who instructs her in the ways of the adult world; and a young refugee whose flight from postwar Europe will prove crucial to Eva's fate.
As Eva tells her story, Isabel Allende conjures up a whole complex South American nation—the rich, the poor, the simple, and the sophisticated—in a novel replete with character and incident, with drama and comedy and history, with battles and passions, rebellions and reunions, a novel that celebrates the power of imagination to create a better world.
This profoundly moving tale of love, bravery, and tragedy by Isabel Allende brings to life a country ruled with an iron fist—and the men and women who dare to challenge it.
Irene Beltrán is a force to be reckoned with. As a magazine journalist, an unusual profession for a woman with her privileged upbringing, she is constantly challenging the oppressive regime. Her investigative partner is photographer Francisco Leal, the son of impoverished Spanish Marxist émigrés. Together, they are an inseparable team and—despite Irene’s engagement to an army captain—form a passionate connection. When an assignment leads them to uncover an unspeakable crime, they are determined to reveal the truth in a nation overrun by terror and violence. Together, they will risk everything for justice—and, ultimately, to embrace the passion that binds them.
The House of the Spirits brings to life the triumphs and tragedies of three generations of the Trueba family. The patriarch Esteban is a volatile, proud man whose voracious pursuit of political power is tempered only by his love for his delicate wife, Clara, a woman with a mystical connection to the spirit world. When their daughter Blanca embarks on a forbidden love affair in defiance of her implacable father, the result is an unexpected gift to Esteban: his adored granddaughter Alba, a beautiful and strong-willed child who will lead her family and her country into a revolutionary future.
One of the most important novels of the twentieth century, The House of the Spirits is an enthralling epic that spans decades and lives, weaving the personal and the political into a universal story of love, magic, and fate. The book was adapted as a feature in 1993 by Danish director Bille August with a star-studded cast that included Jeremy Irons, Meryl Streep, Winona Ryder, Glenn Close and Antonio Banderas.
The House of the Spirits will be made into a TV series by Film Nation and Hulu (2019).
Short stories and novellas
Ilustrado por Ana de Lima, La ninfa de porcelana está especialmente pensado para que lo disfruten personas de todas las edades.
«Don Cornelio siempre ha ocupado un lugar distinguido en mi corazón. Cuando lo conocí era un caballero miope, vestido con un traje gris con catorce bolsillos. Vivía en una pensión de mi barrio y nosotros, sus vecinos, ajustábamos los relojes cuando él pasaba por la mañana. Jamás se adelantaba ni atrasaba. Salía a las ocho y tres minutos en punto, echaba a andar hacia la esquina midiendo los pasos, y tomaba el autobús a su trabajo.»
Bienvenidos a la historia de un hombre gris, cuya vida da un maravilloso vuelco un día de otoño: ha conocido a alguien. Pero no es un alguien cualquiera. Es una ninfa llamada Fantasía, que parece decidida a dar color a su vida.
Va acompañado de un audiolibro del cuento narrado por Isabel Allende. Las regalías de la autora correspondientes a esta obra se destinan íntegramente a la Fundación Isabel Allende, cuya misión es ayudar a mujeres y niñas de alto riesgo.
Los amantes del Guggenheim es la historia de un hombre y una mujer hallados de madrugada mientras duermen en una sala del famoso museo de Bilbao. ¿Por qué están allí? ¿Cómo es que nadie los ha visto antes? Una obra que nos introduce en los misterios del amor.
An intoxicating collection of short fiction by one of the most beloved writers of our time.
Eva Luna is a young woman whose powers as a storyteller bring her friendship and love. Lying in bed with her European lover, refugee and journalist Rolf Carlé, Eva answers his request for a story “you have never told anyone before” with these twenty-three samples of her vibrant artistry. Interweaving the real and the magical, she explores love, vengeance, compassion, and the strengths of women, creating a world that is at once poignantly familiar and intriguingly new.
Rendered in her sumptuously imagined, uniquely magical style, The Stories of Eva Luna is the cornerstone of Allende’s work. This treasure trove of brilliantly crafted stories is a superb example of a writer working at the height of her powers.
Why is Isabel Allende a feminist? With an irresistible mix of humour, lucidity and wisdom, this essay bears witness to a whole life dedicated to fighting for a fairer, more equal world.
In the 1960s Isabel Allende began to work with a magazine in Chile that was unusual at that time for its feminist content. She was responsible for a column that ridiculed the machismo of homo chilensis and was titled “Civilize your troglodyte”. That period of fruitful reading and writing would help her to articulate a language capable of confronting patriarchal authority – although in fact this rebellious spirit emerged when she was a child, when she realized the enormous advantages the men had over the women in her home.
In this essay, after a lifetime of feminist struggle through her books, her public statements and the work of her foundation, Isabel Allende reviews her personal experience of sexism with hilarious humour and, with implacable belligerence, the experiences of other women who have been abused by men. Who are the women she admire the most? What is feminism? What are the keys to this struggle? What do women want? What world do we want and what sacrifices does it entail?
“Allende has everything it takes: the ear, the eye, the mind, the heart, the all-encompassing humanity.” New York Times
“An autobiographical meditation on feminism, power and womanhood… Full of Isabel’s wisdom and warm words.” Grazia
“In her small, potent polemic… Isabel Allende writes about the toxic effects of “machismo”, combining wit with anger as she picks apart the patriarchy.” Independent
“Her thoughts, language and ideas traverse fluidly through ideas of gender, historic injustices, her marriages and bodily experiences and literary references… Allende’s love for women is palpable.” Sidney Morning Herald
"Isabel Allende is a grand storyteller who writes with surpassing compassion and insight. Her place as an icon of world literature was secured long ago. She will be celebrated, by readers and writers alike, for generations to come.” Khaled Hosseini
Biography / Memoirs
In this heartfelt memoir, Isabel Allende reconstructs the painful reality of her own life in the wake of tragic loss—the death of her daughter, Paula. Based on the daily letters the author and her mother, who lives in Chile, wrote each other, Allende bares her soul in a book that is as exuberant and full of life as its creator. She recounts the stories of the wildly eccentric, strong-minded, and eclectic tribe she gathers around her—a tribe that becomes a new kind of family.
Throughout, Allende shares her thoughts on love, marriage, motherhood, spirituality and religion, infidelity, addiction, and memory. Here, too, are the amazing stories behind Allende's books, the superstitions that guide her writing process, and her adventurous travels. Ultimately, The Sum of Our Days offers a unique tour of this gifted writer's inner world and of the relationships that have become essential to her life and her work.
Narrated with warmth, humor, exceptional candor, and wisdom, The Sum of Our Days is a portrait of a contemporary family bound together by the love, fierce loyalty, and the stubborn determination of a beloved, indomitable matriarch.
My Invented Country is a memoir in which truth is most definitely stranger than fiction. Exploring the events of her life and those of the country in which she lived until the assassination of her father's cousin, President Salvador Allende, in Pinochet’s military coup, Allende takes us on a highly personal tour through her homeland, bringing it to life. This is where her grandfather saw the devil on a bus, recognizing him because of his “green cloven hooves like a billy goat,” and her great aunt sprouted wings. It is a place of love charms, ghosts, and continual family feuds.
Portraits of her family and friends jostle with vivid descriptions of local customs and beliefs, and through it all strides the indomitable figure of the young Isabel. Rebellious and passionate, a feminist long before she knew what feminism was, her love for (and sometimes exasperation with) Chile informs every line. Her experiences make for unforgettable, often hilarious reading that no admirer of Allende’s writing will want to miss.
Paula is a soul-baring memoir that, like a novel of suspense, one reads without drawing a breath. The point of departure for these moving pages is tragic personal experience. In December 1991, Isabel Allende's daughter Paula became gravely ill and shortly thereafter fell into a coma. During months in the hospital, the author began to write the story of her family for her unconscious daughter. In the telling, bizarre ancestors appear before our eyes; we hear both delightful and bitter childhood memories, amazing anecdotes of youthful years, the most intimate secrets passed along in whispers. Chile, Allende's native land, comes alive as well, with the turbulent history of the military coup of 1973, the ensuing dictatorship, and her family's years of exile.
Written as an exorcism of death, Allende explores the past and questions the gods. The result is a magical book that carries the reader from tears to laughter, from terror to sensuality and wisdom. The glorious characters of Allende's fiction—clairvoyants, revolutionaries, and, most of all, the questing woman who makes her way through storytelling—populate this autobiography, which ranks as one of Allende's finest works. In Paula we understand that the miraculous world of The House of the Spirits and Eva Luna is the world Isabel Allende inhabits—it is her enchanted reality.
Books for children and young readers
Alexander Cold knows all too well his grandmother Kate is never far from an adventure. When International Geographic commissions her to write an article about the first elephant-led safaris in Africa, they head—with Nadia Santos and the magazine’s photography crew—to the blazing red plains of Kenya. A few days into the tour, a Catholic missionary approaches their camp in search of his companions, who have mysteriously disappeared. Kate, Alexander, Nadia, and their team agree to help in the rescue, enlisting the help of a local pilot to lead them to the swampy forests of Ngoubé. There they discover a clan of Pygmies who unveil a harsh and surprising world of corruption, slavery, and poaching.
Alexander and Nadia call upon the magical strengths of Jaguar and Eagle, their totemic animal spirits, as they launch a spectacular and precarious struggle to restore freedom and return leadership to its rightful hands.
The final installment of Isabel Allende’s celebrated young adult trilogy (which includes City of the Beasts and Kingdom of the Golden Dragon), Forest of the Pygmies soars with radiant settings, spirits, and beings, and celebrates the transformation of an extraordinary friendship.
Isabel Allende once again leads readers on a fantastical voyage of suspense, magic, and awe-inspiring adventure in this riveting follow-up to City of the Beasts.
Just a few months have passed since teenager Alexander Cold followed his bold grandmother into the heart of the Amazon to uncover its legendary Beast. This time, reporter Kate Cold escorts her grandson and his closest friend, Nadia, along with the photographers from International Geographic, on a journey to another remote niche of the world. Entering a forbidden sovereignty tucked within the frosty peaks of the Himalayas, the team’s task is to locate its fabled Golden Dragon, a sacred statue and priceless oracle that can foretell the future of the kingdom.
In their scramble to reach the statue before it is destroyed by the greed of an outsider, Alexander and Nadia must use the transcendent power of their totemic animal spirits, Jaguar and Eagle. With the aid of a sage Buddhist monk, his young royal disciple, and a fierce tribe of Yeti warriors, Alexander and Nadia fight to protect the holy rule of the Golden Dragon.
The first in a three-part series for young adults (Kingdom of the Golden Dragon and Forest of the Pygmies follow), City of the Beasts features high adventure and magical realism. When his mother becomes ill, fifteen-year-old Alexander Cold is sent away to join his fearless and tough-minded grandmother, a magazine reporter for International Geographic, on an expedition to the dangerous, remote world of the Amazon. Their mission, along with the others on their team—including a celebrated anthropologist; a local guide and his young daughter, Nadia; and a doctor—is to document the legendary Yeti of the Amazon known as the Beast.
Under the dense canopy of the jungle, Alexander is amazed to discover much more than he could have imagined about the hidden worlds of the rain forest—and about human nature. Drawing on the strength of the jaguar, the totemic animal Alexander finds within himself, and the eagle, Nadia's spirit guide, the two young people are led by the People of the Mist—an indigenous people so in tune with their surroundings that they can literally disappear—on a thrilling and unforgettable journey into the wonder-filled heart of the Amazon.
Anthology / Selection
This work brings together the best pages written by Isabel Allende about love, humor, life and sex. It includes a selection of the most intense and passionate excerpts of her novels, grouped by different subjects: sexual awakening, first love, passion and jealousy, troubled and everlasting loves, humor and eros, and maturity. With a brilliant introduction where Isabel Allende recovers hilarious episodes of her life –since at the age of five she thought she was pregnant due to an unfortunate misunderstanding at nursery school--, and with unpublished comments to the above-mentioned subjects, this volume is an original and pleasant summa of her love life and her works.
Isabel Allende brings her magical storytelling powers to a highly personal and charmingly idiosyncratic look at the intertwined sensual arts of food and love. Blending personal reminiscence with folklore from around the world, historical legends, and memorable moments from literature—erotic and otherwise—Allende spices her narrative with equal portions of humor and insight.
Assembling a feast of fascinating facts about the aphrodisiac powers of food and drink, Allende serves them up with both convincing admiration and due irreverence. She offers suggestions, both ancient and modern, for luring a lover, kindling sexual ardor, prolonging the act of love, and reviving flagging virility. Dipping into the cauldron of history, she reports on the lascivious appetites of everyone from the emperor Nero to Catherine the Great to France's notorious Madame du Barry.
A personal ode to the pleasures of food and sex, Aphrodite celebrates the sensual life with joy and imagination. Allende's exuberance, storytelling powers, and naughty sense of fun make this memoir an irresistible treat for the senses.
- 2020 - Liber Award (Spanish Association of Publishers Guilds)
- 2019 - Barcino International Historical Fiction Novel Award (Spain)
- 2018 - National Book Award 2018's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters
- 2017 - 'Book of the Year in Ukraine' for El amante japonés in Foreign Fiction Category
- 2017 - Premio Sicilia, Taormina Book Festival (Italia)
- 2016 – PEN Center Lifetime Achievement Award (USA)
- 2014 – Gabriela Mistral Foundation Humanitarian Award (USA) – Latino Book Award for Maya’s Notebook (USA)
- 2013 – Carl Sandburg Literary Award (USA)
- 2012 - Hans Christian Andersen Literature Award (Denmark) - Lawrence Sanders Award in Fiction, Florida International University (USA) - Prize for Excellence from the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington (USA)
- 2011 - Premio Ciudad de Alcalá de las Artes y las Letras (Spain)
- 2011 - Premio Nacional de Literatura (Chile)
- 2009 - (USA) - Momentum Award for Storytelling, Women’s Foundation of California (USA) - London Times, The best 60 books of the past 60 years, La casa de los espíritus - Best Audiobook of the Year 2009, AudioFile Magazine for La suma de los días (UK)
- 2008 - One City One Book Award, Martin County, Califorrnia (USA) for Hija de la fortuna – Hubert Howe Bancroft Award, The Bancroft Library (USA)
- 2008 - Visionary Marin Award, Marin Interfaith Council (USA) - Best Young Adult Fiction Award for El bosque de los pigmeos (USA)
- 2006 - Premio Rosalía de Castro (Spain) - Best Young Adult Fiction Award for El reino del dragón de Oro , IMPAC (Ireland) - Latino Literacy Now Award (USA)
- 2004 - Common Wealth Award of Distinguished Service for Literature (USA) - Best Biography Award for Mi país inventado (USA) - Latino Literacy Now Award (USA)
- 2003 - Premio José Donoso awarded by the University of Talca (Chile) - Nopal Award, California Polytechnic State University (USA) - Cyril Magnin Lifetime Achievement Award (USA) - Premio Iberoamericano de Letras José Donoso (Chile)
- 2002 - Excellence in International Literature and Arts Award (USA) - Ambassador’s Award from the Celebration of Books (USA) - Premio Foro Internacional de Mujeres (Mexico)
- 2000 - Books to Remember Award, New Cork Public Library (USA) WILLA (Women in Literature and Life Assembly) Award (USA)
- 1999 - Woman of the Year, GEMS (Grils and Mentoring Services) (USA) - Woman of the Year (Italy)
- 1998 - Malaparte Amici di Capri (Italy) - Premio Donna Citta di Roma (Italy) - Dorothy and Illán Gish Award for writers “who have contributed to the beauty of the world” (USA) - Sara Lee Frontrunner Award (USA)
- 1996 - Critics’ Choice Award (USA) - Read About Me literary award (USA) - Books to Remember Award, American Library Association (USA) - Gift of HOPE Award, HOPE Education & Leadership Fund (USA) - Harold Washington Literary Award (USA)
- 1995 - Member of the Puerto Rico Academy of Arts and Sciences
- 1994 - Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France)
- 1993 - XLI Bancarella literary prize (Italy) - Brandeis University Major Book Collection Award (USA) - Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for El plan infinito (June–July 1993, UK)
- 1991 - PEN Club Freedom to Write Award (USA)
- 1988 - Library Journal’s Best Book (USA) - Before Columbus Foundation Award (USA)
- 1987 - XV Premio Internazionale I Migliori Dell’Anno (Italy) Prémio Mulheres for Best Foreign Novel (Portugal) - Los Angeles Times Book Prize (USA, nominee) - Premio Quimera Libros (Chile) - Book of the Year (Switzerland)
- 1986 - Premio Bellas Artes de Narrativa Colima (Mexico) - Quality Paperback Book Club New Voice Award (USA, nominee) - Author of the Year (Germany)
- 1985 - Prix Point de Mire, Radio Télévision Belge (Belgium) - Best Novel (Mexico)
- 1984 - Author of the Year (Germany) - Book of the Year (Germany) - Grand Prix d’Evasion (France)
- 1983 - Panorama Literario Novel of the Year (Chile)
- 2016 - Inducted into California Hall of Fame (USA)
- 2016 - Honorary Doctorate, University of Santiago (Chile, 2015) Gala Honoree, Center for Reproductive Rights (USA)
- 2015 - Presidential Medal of Freedom, The White House, Washington, DC (USA)
- 2014 - Honorary Doctorate, Chapman University (USA, 2013) Honorary Doctorate, Harvard University (USA)
- 2012 - San Jose State University and the city of San Jose, Calif., celebrate Isabel Allende Day (USA)
- 2011 - Member of the Board of Trustees of the Chile-California Council (USA)
- 2009 - Member of the Board of Trustees (Patronato) of the Cervantes Institute (Spain)
- 2008 - Honorary Doctorate, San Francisco State University (USA)
- 2007 - Honorary Doctorate, Whittier College (USA)
- 2007 - Honorary Doctorate, Language and Literature, University of Trento (Italy)
- 2007 - Daughter of Fortune selected as One Book, One Marin title (USA)
- 2006 - Flag bearer representing Latin America at Turin Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony (Italy)
- 2004 - Distinguished Personality, University of El Pacífico (Chile)
- 2004 - Ambassador to the Hans Christian Andersen Bicentenary (Denmark)
- 2004 - Member of the Academy of Arts and Letters (USA)
- 2002 - Honorary Doctorate, Illinois Wesleyan University (USA)
- 2000 - Honorary Member of the Academy of Development and Peace (Austria)
- 2000 - Honorary Doctorate, Lawrence University (USA)
- 2000 - Honorary Doctorate, Mills College (USA)
- 1996 - Honorary Doctorate, Florida Atlantic University (USA)
- 1996 - Honorary Doctorate, Columbia College (USA)
- 1995 - Honorary Citizen of the City of Austin (USA)
- 1995 - Member of Academy of Arts and Sciences (Puerto Rico)
- 1994 - Feminist of the Year, Feminist Majority Foundation (USA)
- 1994- Gabriela Mistral Inter-American Prize for Culture (Chile)
- 1994 - Marin Women’s Hall of Fame (USA)
- 1994 - Chevalier dans 1’Ordre des Arts et des Letters (France)
- 1994 - Honorary Doctorate, Dominican College (USA)
- 1994 - Honorary Doctorate, Bates College (USA)
- 1991 - Honorary Doctorate, State University of New York at Stony Brook (USA)
- 1991 - Honorary Doctorate, University of Chile
- 1989 - Member of the Academy of Language (Chile)